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Sharif seeks US support in war on terror

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hopes to drum up support for Pakistan’s role in the war on terror and counter India’s assertion of Pakistan sponsoring cross-border terrorism during his visit to the US this month, a media report said today.

Sharif is expected to meet President Barack Obama on October 22 at the White House.

Foreign Office officials here said the meeting will give Sharif a chance to rebut India’s assertion that Pakistan is disturbing regional peace and sponsoring terrorism, the Nation newspaper reported.

“Pakistan was also disappointed last month when the US and India agreed to deepen cooperation in fighting terrorism and asked Pakistan to bring to justice the 2008 Mumbai attack perpetrators,” it reported.

The joint statement after India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue ahead of the UN General Assembly last month prompted Sharif to point the finger at India during his UNGA address.

Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi also presented three dossiers accusing India of sponsoring terrorism in Karachi, Balochistan and the northwestern tribal areas.

Sharif had proposed a four-point “new peace initiative” calling for demilitarising Kashmir and Siachen glacier, and formalising the 2003 ceasefire.

India has rejected the formula insisting that Pakistan “must stop supporting terrorism” before talks can be held.

Sharif yesterday met his leading ministers and aides to discuss his upcoming visit to the US.

“The prime minister expressed the hope that the visit will also help in providing Pakistan with an opportunity to highlight the matchless sacrifices and huge losses in the war on terror,” said an official statement.

A Foreign Office official said Sharif will present proof of India’s alleged interference in Pakistan during his meeting with Obama, the Nation reported.